kevin-bewersdorf

July 2: NYC poetry event with Kev, Bunny Rogers, and Brigid Mason

Rhizome Presents: Internet as Poetry
+ Book launch for Cunny Poem Vol. 1
Issue Project Room
July 2, 7.30pm
Free 

On December 4, 2011, Bunny Rogers uploaded an image of a rose to cunny4.tumblr.com; six months later, she began to post short poems to it on a regular basis. She writes serially about desire and addiction and sex and being a woman. This year, she translated these poems to the printed page with a highly crafted 237-page clothbound book, Cunny Poem Vol. 1, which features artwork by Brigid Mason.

Five years ago, internet artist Kevin Bewersdorf took all of his images, music, and texts offline, changed his name to Kev, and published a new website featuring only an image of a flickering flame. Kev now writes poetry about the internet, inspired in part by his Taoist practice. He writes slowly, holding the ideas inside for long periods of time until they crystallize. 

This event marks Kev’s first public reading of his poetry and the New York launch of Cunny Poem Vol. 1, via a presentation by Bunny and Brigid that will include sculpture, music, and poetry. 

Rhizome public programs receive major support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

In 2013, Marcin Ramocki sent me the link to a new, secret website by Kevin Bewersdorf, Treasure Hall of the Misterious Monk, at the time available at the domain www.treasurehallofthemysteriousmonk.com. The site is currently defunct, and it’s not archived on the Wayback Machine at Archive.org, so it was probably online for one year or less. I didn’t use an offline browser, but the feeling that the website could not be online forever brought me to download the pages. For some reason, I didn’t save “room 6” - so, if you happen to have it on your hard disk, feel free to submit - your donation will be immensely appreciated.

Now these relics are available again here. Enjoy!

Rhizome Presents: Internet as Poetry
Book launch for Cunny Poem Vol. 1
Issue Project Room
July 2, 7.30pm

On December 4, 2011, Bunny Rogers uploaded an image of a rose to cunny4.tumblr.com; six months later, she began to post short poems to it on a regular basis. She writes serially about desire and addiction and sex and being a woman. This year, she translated these poems to the printed page with a highly crafted 237-page clothbound book, Cunny Poem Vol. 1, which features artwork by Brigid Mason.

Five years ago, internet artist Kevin Bewersdorf took all of his images, music, and texts offline, changed his name to Kev, and published a new website featuring only an image of a flickering flame. Kev now writes poetry about the internet, inspired in part by his Taoist practice. He writes slowly, holding the ideas inside for long periods of time until they crystallize.

This event marks Kev’s first public reading of his poetry and the New York launch of Cunny Poem Vol. 1, via a presentation by Bunny and Brigid that will include sculpture, music, and poetry.

via Rhizome | July 2: NYC poetry event with Kev, Bunny Rogers, and Brigid Mason

vimeo
Share Your Sorrow

Share Your Sorrow is an online curatorial project launched by Domenico Quaranta in September 2012, and focused on strategies of social preservation of net based, digital art. The project deals with the work of Kevin Bewersdorf, an artist that, after being very active online between 2007 and 2009, retired and deleted from the internet any content he published in previous years. Everybody who got in touch with his work and collected it is invited to dig into his / her personal archives and contribute. Because the museum of the future may be your hard drive.

Art preservation is normally associated with museums, archives and collections, that is with authority and power – be it institutional, cultural or economic. It has not always been like this. Museums and archives emerged in modern times, and art collecting as an elitist practice started in the Renaissance. Along history, art has been saved by graveyards, natural catastrophes, copies, reuse and abuse, chance, monks, and ordinary people.

In the digital age, artists started making art with digital means and circulating it online, and computer users started saving and archiving it, as they do with any other kind of cultural content. Of course, the art world started applying its rules and conventions to digital art as well, pretending that some files are poor copies and others are original, and talking about editions, resolution, certificates of authenticity and so on. The file you downloaded is not the same file Mr. Saatchi bought. That’s fine. But what if your file survives, and Mr Saatchi’s one gets lost? What if the artist pretends that the original artwork is the one he put on the net?

Kevin Bewersdorf wrote in 2007:

“I would drop [my laptop] off a cliff without hesitation… The seeds of my data are already safely spread across the web, and this data is what concerns me.”

Then, at some point, he removed everything from the Web, but the seeds of his data survived. They survived in the work of other artists that responded to them. They survived on other websites that reblogged them. And they survive in the disk space of many anonymous users who saved them, and that keep them jealously or just forgot about them. These are the true collectors of Kevin Bewersdorf’s work: a work that was available to anybody, and that’s now subject to the condition of scarcity that is the premise to any act of collecting.
Share Your Sorrow invites them to share the seeds of Kevin’s data again; to allow them to circulate online again, to be downloaded, manipulated and remixed by other users, to keep being part of the cultural dialogue, that is the best way for art to survive.

To contribute:

- go to http://shareyoursorrow.tumblr.com/submit and submit your content, or
- upload it on Tumblr and tag it “share your sorrow”, or
- just send an email to domenico.quaranta@linkartcenter.eu. And,
- please try to provide as many contextual elements as possible (name, date, original location, etc.)

More info: http://shareyoursorrow.linkartcenter.eu/.

I took another sip. The DJ proceeded to describe for me, with shocking accuracy, the details of my own personal memory.
— 

Kevin Bewersdorf | That’s Incredible! | Spirit Surfing

“smiling, one mouth each”

memo568

エキソニモの「スピリチュアル・コンピューティング」からKevin Bewersdorfの「Spirit Surfing」にとんで,上のGIFに至った.ヒトとコンピュータとがひとつの回路になっている.上の画像だと,ヒトとコンピュータが一組になって,その先にもう一組のヒトとコンピュータがあるけれども,もう一組のところに必ずしもヒトがいなくてもいい.ヒトとコンピュータとのインターフェイスではなくて,ヒトとコンピュータとを含んだひとつの回路と考えること.変化のなかのヒトとコンピュータと考えること.モノではなくて変化であって,それは「神」ではないけれども,大きな回路のなかに入ること.そんな感覚が「スピリチュアル」で,「インターフェイス」という言葉でヒトとコンピュータとは向い合ってきたが,そのあいだにヒトとコンピュータとのあいだにはこのふたつの存在を含んだより大きな回路ができあがりつつある.というか,もともと回路はあったのだけれど,近頃,やっとその回路の存在を感知できるようになってきたと考えてみたらどうだろうか?

われわれは日常,“スイッチ”という概念が,“石”とか“テーブル”とかいう概念とは次元を異にしていることに気づかないでいる.ちょっと考えてみれば解ることだが,電気回路の一部分としてスイッチは,オンの位置にある時には存在していない.回路の視点に立てば,スイッチとその前後の導線の間には何ら違いはない.スイッチはただの“導線の延長”にすぎない.また,オフの時にも,スイッチは回路の視点から見てやはり存在してはいない.それは二個の導体(これ自体スイッチがオンの時しか導体としては存在しないが)の間の単なる切れ目──無なるもの──にすぎない.スイッチとは,切り換えの瞬間以外は存在しないものなのだ.“スイッチ”という概念は,時間に対し特別な関係を持つ.それは“物体”という概念よりも,“変化”という概念に関わるものである.(pp.147-148)
  改訂版 精神と自然:生きた世界の認識論,グレゴリー・ベイトソン

Internet as Poetry - Annotated

“Internet as Poetry” reading at Issue Project Room, July 2, 2014. Organized by Rhizome. Annotated by x-genius.com

This is not about Santa Claus tonight. Poems about the Internet, that’s the subject that Michael suggested. I had a lot of poems about the Internet that I’ve written, and I think I have something to share. Some of it is freestyle, it’s a poem – talking, freestyle talking. I’m just going to be talking, I’m not prepared. Some, I have a prepared thing to say – that’s like the “tracks”, do the track. The first track, the poem is called “Threading Silk”, and it’s about a movement that I learned that’s called threading silk, but it’s also about the wheel that’s spinning on the Internet, and what is happening.

***

Human fingers
May stumble upon you
Well that never runs dry
Your powers pump
In towers underground
And it is no wonder that you are tapped

Dense clouds [swarm?] above this silk of the heart.
When one strand is pulled, the whole web trembles, spreading [unspool?]
Are these verses too flowery for you?
Okay, we can just go on with our lives.
Each one of us thread [seeing colors?]

This one’s for the workers
Touching raw material in silk factory
With good intention may they [gouge?] soft fabric to the door of the palace

I’ll now perform the threading silk movement.
[Does movement]

***

I’m gonna do a little freestyle now, and this is going to be a freestyle about the web and the net. The “web” and the “net”, two words that people are using a lot to talk about the internet, very important when people are talking about it.

What’s the difference between the web and the net?
Same thing? Different things? Not clear.
Are they interchangable?

Chuang Tzu, the Taoist philosopher, said, “small knowledge divides the one into many, great knowledge sees the many as one.” So this is a small-knowledge poem because I’m dividing the net and the web in the poem.

But I need three to do it, not just two, not two poles, three, and these are the three I will talk about:

The web is like vapor, and information is like water, and the Internet is ice.

Ice is a crystal, and the Internet is a crystal, and you can’t talk about the Internet, you have to talk about the crystal. That’s the shape of it, and it multiplies, the crystal multiplies without rest. You go on the Internet, nothing rests, pretty much. The multiplying crystal. Fast, and hard, too; it’s very hard on the Internet.

Sharp angles, all those chips and stuff. But you need the soft too, you need to soften the sharpness. How do you do it? All sides at once of the crystal, you can’t do it. You have to soften the crystal. So, you go on the web!

I like the hard, too. Hard is amazing, the crystal room is amazing, that’s why people think the Internet is so amazing. So fast, it has pressure, so much pressure. Socially, it could be bad, because it’s peer pressure. I don’t know if you’ve ever been warned about this when you were in school, people say to watch out for the peer pressure. And if you go on the Internet, there’s going to be pressure because that’s the speed of it. On the web, you relax, you just relax. No pressure.

What is the web?
Round and soft spiral,
A continuous, round spiral.
That’s the updates.
Moving like vapor.
Catch the vapor, it’s an ice body.

Ice is all-connected. You remove the body, and only the connections are there. I want to see how long ago people were connected, so I go back, and I think about women grinding corn. A long time ago, women grinding corn. How were they connected? They were gossiping, and the gossip was an irresistible web. Long before the Internet, the women grinding corn were connected. And they relaxed when they were grinding corn, they were very relaxed, moving softly, grinding corn, all day long.

When I feel something critical, that means something hard coming through. Hardening is okay, because that’s what happens when things grow, they get harder. And that’s why the Internet is very adult, because the hardening is an adult, you harden into an identity, especially on the Internet, our identity, it’s hard. And what is the proof that the Internet is adult and hard? Because a baby can’t use it. You ever see a baby use the Internet? A baby can’t do it. And why can’t the baby use the Internet? The baby’s perfect. A baby doesn’t learn by Wikipedia. The baby is on the web. Besides the women grinding corn, you see the baby connect to the web.

So: soft and hard. That’s the freestyle here – the issue, in the Issue Project, soft and hard. One’s the expansion – that’s the Internet, expanding up, expanding up, expanding up. And you have to have the contraction – moving towards the web is contracting, and it’s pulsing.

The last thing I have to say about this, for all of us: the Internet and the web are in love with each other, and that’s how they’re transforming into each other.

Open heart naming vapor, there is no name for vapor. No name for vapor. Vapor is separate from the earth. And that’s why the [?] skywriters come and do their work.

This is a poem, this is a track called “Who is using the Internet?” This is a list of different people, going through a list of people that I see might be using the Internet. The point is to open my heart to all of them.

***

“Who is using the Internet?”

Who is using the Internet?
In my eyes, the sun is.
Dragon dorks.
Shark dorks.
Los Angeles Latinas.
Mystical comedians.
Cable guys.
Credit card registrants.
Grown men in developing countries.
Dream weavers.
Translators.
Native peoples.
Inverse porn stars.
Someone typing randomly.
The descendants of Adam and Eve.
Adam Sandler, and his descendants.
Cranky flowershop owners.
Anyone who’s seen the sun.
The employed.
The powerfully obsessed.
The politically ejaculating.
Those committing heinous crimes,
As well as the dying,
Their caregivers,
Your parents
And your lover.
Paleface, my heart goes out to you.

***

“Amazon”

Amazon lies just through the dark
Like frogs and bugs upon your great data stream.
You are the main stream
Of the dark ocean at the end of all rivers where space begins.

Water, world, woman.
Calling for [her?] star,
Get into my basket.
I dip into the water,
Watch, continue onwards as a raft,
Good guides [?] around us.

Amazon, jungle of arrows,
All arrows arriving at the door,
Like water into the ground.

***

Maybe I’ll do another little freestyle here about trains? I ride the train a lot in New York, I really like the train. You know, the train, it’s also a search engine. And you know who’s the find engine? You are. [laughs]. You are the train, you have to find your station. So. The train is a search engine.

But you are the find engine because you, you’re the one who can lose the way, so. You have to feel found at your station.

The train, it rides the rails, but it can’t lose the way. It’s rapid transit. You have to go fast. And you’re at the mercy of the train. The train is progress; you’re at the mercy of progress.

I’ve seen this crazy thing that kids do on Youtube, and it’s called “train surfing”. And they ride outside the train! They just grab on and they ride outside of it. Not inside the train, outside the train. It’s crazy! People do that.

And I saw, on an advertisement in the train, that was encouraging people – it was an MTA advertisement, encouraging people to ride inside the train, and not outside the train. And it had a poem on it. I liked the poem very much. And the poem said:

Surf the web, not the train!
The only safe ride is a ride inside.


And I agree with that.

***

Face to face with unlimited minutes.
I’m blowing up.
I live in an explosion.
My [mom?] is in all directions.
My faith I follow [?] through a tunnel,
And I do not dare resist the totally, miraculously normal.

***

“Great speeches”

The blood of men rained down like fire, 5,000 years ago
Slaves revolting before maps
Pursued into the wilderness
Or squatting in a canyon, eating from bowls

On the other side of the mountain,
10,000 arguments are waiting in the comments.

Now, in the great slave rebellion of 2014
I watch in my own battlefield
As, standing on a rock, in the center of all warriors,
The leader of the slaves gives a great speech
That cannot be found on Google,
But is planted in human hearts forever.

I’m watching now, the speech.

***

I log warrior poems, [?] Seeing warriors is like a wound, and it won’t heal, you just keep seeing warriors. You’re finding war, but there is no war. It hurts a lot.

But connected to the warrior, because I’ve written a lot of poems about the warrior, it’s a way of doing pain management. It’s a pain management skill. [?] Those pains, they can be deleted. Or you’re recycling them in the recycling bin. So this is an instructional, how to delete the warrior pain.

***

Rushing, rushing in, rushing out, and standing still.
Shimmer, flow, overexposure,
Breaking the cloud of chariots.
(Delete from the weight upon your heart.)

Haunted by emails –
(Delete from the weight upon your heart.)

Having a wonderful time –
(Delete from the weight upon your heart.)

[Crazed as two mirror of space?]
Live life awakening access

All good gods have names
Live life awakening access

Off the deep end
Live life awakening access

Delete from the weight upon your heart
Live life awakening access

How do you delete from the weight upon your heart?
It’s easy.

Step one:
You look into your heart.
You see the weight.
You see the recycling bin.
You grab the weight.
You go over to the recycling bin.
And you delete from the weight upon your heart.
And you’re light-hearted.

How do you live life awakening access?
It’s easy.

Step one.
Know the address.
You look into the darkness,
And you keep a connection.

***

“Mission statement”

Brain fires, release the heat
The only thing above your head for that heat to cook is empty space.

My name is Kev
I am the CEO of Orange Computers
and I am in the business of bringing the Tao and storing the heat.

I do my business below the diaphragm and above the anus
In the corporate office of Orange Computers.
One employee working the bellows warms the whole headquarters.
With basement heat.

As the heat rises from its point in the foundation,
The fire of upward mobility
like the dragon [world of the nether?]
Rocking through the glowing rectangles of flaming stars
Reaches the newsroom of the brain
Where the grains are leaping off the field
And rivers of salmon are flowing stricken [and?]
[fruits?] are issued identification cards

High achievers, sticking together in the [hell of a] full calendar
I know you’re looking for that downward mobility.

So as CEO of Orange Computers, I invite the water-bearer to come and pour buckets on the hot-headed.

And it is my mission statement
To achieve the love without tension
Like slacking cloth.

Running on the beach,
I was relieved to see two teenagers drawing a penis.

***

“People”

Secrets of the stars are found online.
The stars are people too,
On People.com

Images of the haircuts of the stars are made of light,
Shining through some glass of the browser window,
But the window is not the source of light.

Light traveling is the space traveling prophecy.
It is a mystery why followers gaze,
And those who do so, leave their bodies.

***

It’s very dangerous to leave your body, and I’ve had many of out-of-body experiences. I’ve had enough out of body experiences. And so, at work you have an inner-body experience. That’s why I like the web, very much, because it’s inside. So.

I want to talk about a way to strengthen a connection to the web inside. You need an antenna. And the Internet uses an antenna. That’s the crystal shape. And in the body, we also have an antenna that’s a crystal shape, and that’s the bones. The bones are like a crystal, kinda – they grow, in the same way, repeated patterns inside them, and they can be the antenna. The main antenna is the spine, which has 24 vertebrae. And that’s a very doctor-y word, “the vertebrae”.

Bunny’s last poem talked about the vertebrae. So I’m very happy to make this my last poem, and talk about the vertebrae. But I’m going to call the vertebrae, “links”, and these turn on the spine, all the links. And then you improve upon your antenna. So, I’m just going to count the vertebrae in my spine, and I do this to improve the antenna. Maybe you can feel your own vertebrae, maybe not, but you can learn to feel your own vertebrae. You follow the links. We’re getting up and going down. I’m going to start with the skull, and wrap the skull in words, and at the base of the skull, find the first link.

Five cervical vertebrae.
One.
Seven cervical vertebrae.
Five lumbar vertebrae – so hard to say the doctor words.
Three segments.
Seven, twelve, five.
Seven cervical.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
Twelve thoracic vertebrae.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve.
Five lumbar.
One, two, three, four, five.
Sacrum: tail.
All the links happy and relaxed, feeling completely connected.

***

Thank you.

2

memo207
Kevin Bewersdorfの「Spirit Surfing」を読み終える.Bewersdorfはネットからデータを消去しているので,サルベージされたデータからこの本がつくられているのが,まず面白い.

「ヴィジュアル・エッセイ」という章があるのだけれど,画像データがほとんどない状態になっている.なので,ほとんどビジュアルなしのエッセイになっている.ビジュアルがあるのが,「Stock Photography Watermarks As The Presence of God」というタイトルもの.これが興味深い.「祈り」をテーマとした素材写真の真ん中に「123RF™」と会社のロゴマークがはいるのだけれど,それが祈りの対象の「God」のようだとBewersdorfは指摘する.数行のコードによって,写真家がアップした写真に「神が降臨する」.エキソニモの「ゴットは、存在する。」に通じる感覚がある.ネットを「スピリチュアル」な領域と考えるところも,似ているかもしれない.